Tyne and Wear HER(15014): Newcastle, Diana Street, No. 22A - Details
Newcastle, Diana Street, No. 22A
Simple brick building with slate roof. In 1831 a Women's Penitentiary was built on Diana Street by Joseph Cowell, devout Baptist, who preached to 'fallen' women in Sandgate. This building was the main T-shaped part of the peniteniary. The penitentiary was a charitable foundation intended for the reformation of prostitutes or for 'receiving such unfortunate females as appear to have experienced a conviction of the sinfulness of their conduct and are willing to avail themselves of the advantages offered, of being placed in a position by which they can again be admitted into virtuous society'. The inmates were taught sewing, washing, reading, writing and religious education. It was paid for by donations and by laundry work carried out by the women. In 1852 the building was enlarged to accommodate more women. By 1855 the peniteniary housed 62 women. The Newcastle Town Plan of 1862 shows the penitentiary as a T-shaped building with large yards at either side of the downstroke of the T. The front of the building only had one small window on the ground floor next to the door In 1886 the peniteniary moved to Elswick Road and the Diana Street building was sold. Ward's trade directory for 1889-90 records the former penitentiary as a technical college. This was linked to the elementary school on Bath Lane and the School of Science and Art on the corner of Bath Lane and Corporation Street. By 1896 a long east-west laboratories range had been added against the south boundary wall. The south yard was covered with a skylight roof to create a School of Art. The ground floor was occupied by school rooms, a Sunday School and dwelling rooms. The first floor was dormitories and living rooms. In 1898 the former technical college was occupied by Blackett and Howden, organ builders. At the end of the 19th century the north wing of the peniteniary was rebuilt and became two terraced houses (Nos. 22A and 22B, HER 15013). The open yard to the rear became a large shed.The front elevation is now rendered and painted. Roller shutter doors fill the ground floor. Inside the first floor is offices. The ground floor has been gutted and linked to the rear shed. The shed has a steel truss roof and is part of the workshop in No. 22B (HER 15013). The lower part of the east rear wall is sandstone and has a gate at the south end. The wall has been raised with 1.2m of brickworth and then later the gable of the shed was added. A photograph of 1936 shows that the north part of the building as a house. This still stands as part of the TC Automotive Group building. Adjacent to it the south part of the building was a business premises with a vehicle gate. In 1920 the house and the large building to the rear were the workshops of Newcastle and Gateshead Gas Company. In 1934 it was the premises of John Bardgett, Undertaker. He was listed at this address in trade directories for 1934 and 38. Bardgett and his three sons, John Ernest, Arthur and Stanley, had offices at Elswick Row, Westgate Road, Scotswood Road and Hugh Gardens in Benwell. They were the first undertaker in Newcastle to use motor vehicles. The company is still in business on Westgate Road. By 1940 the building was occupied by Carnegie Dotchin & Co, decorators. In 1956 they were listed as bazaar fitters. The 1969 OS marks the building as a garage. The southern roller shutter is on the site of a vehicle entrance visible on the 1936 photograph.
Archaeological Services Durham University, 2012, 12-24 Diana Street, Science Central, Newcastle upon Tyne - Building Recording Report; Photograph of 1936, Newcastle Library Local Collection 036420; Archaeological Services Durham University, 2013, 12-24 Diana Street, Science Central, Newcastle upon Tyne - Phase 2 Building Recording Report;